Bodies of drowned kayakers recovered from Green River
June 6, 2008 · Updated 4:42 PM
The bodies of two men who apparently drowned in kayaking and rafting accidents in the Green River were recovered last Saturday.
The men were reported missing May 17, and the location of one body became known several days later, but authorities delayed recovering the bodies because of dangerous river conditions.
The river was high, cold and fast-moving when the men disappeared. Their names weren't being released publicly, pending official identification by the King County medical examiner and notification of their families.
John Urquhart, a spokesman for the King County Sheriff Department, said the body of a 45-year-old Seattle man was spotted May 23. The kayak he'd been riding when he disappeared was found in the gorge area of the Green River, lodged in a crevice between two rocks in the middle of the stream. Cliffs on both sides exceeded 100 feet in height, Urquhart said.
With the river flowing more slowly, an effort was launched to recover the body at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. The body was recovered in the early afternoon, Urquhart reported.
Searchers also found the body of a 34-year-old Federal Way man, lodged under a tree and downriver from Flaming Geyser State Park He and friends, who survived, were tossed into the water when their two inflatable rafts overturned in the fast-moving water.
Volunteer searchers from King, Pierce and Snohomish counties joined personnel from several fire districts in the recovery efforts, which were coordinated by the Sheriff Department.